10.10.10 ask CEOs to tackle wicked problems in health | SteamboatToday.com

10.10.10 ask CEOs to tackle wicked problems in health

A program launched in Denver last month is asking entrepreneurs and CEOs to study 10 wicked problems in health and consider business solutions for them.

The 10.10.10 program brought 10 health problems to 10 CEOs to study for 10 long, intensive days, with the hope that innovative new business ideas would be on the horizon when the 10 days were over.

Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association CEO Lisa Brown wasn't one of the 10 CEOs tackling the wicked problems, but she was there to advocate and validate for the problems and their importance — problems like patient engagement, Alzheimer's and childhood obesity.

Brown was a strong advocate for patient engagement, or the idea that an individual lacks critical involvement in their health today and that health care providers spend more time treating patients than they do on preventive care and engagement of patients in their own health needs.

"Almost everything that affects health takes place outside of the healthcare system," Brown said. "It's where we work and play. What actually affects our health is our behavior and environment."

Brown said that patient engagement is a concern that underlies all other health problems.

"It's not an isolated problem, and there are no widespread solutions right now," said Brown, who spent two days at 10.10.10, pitching the problem to the 10 CEOs and then being on-hand to answer questions and validate patient engagement and other problems.

"Being engaged in your health, everybody has the ability to take incremental action to improve your health — no matter who they are, no matter their age or income," Brown said.

Brown called the program a "visionary lab" where the best of business is harnessed to help the largest problems in health.

"My sense is that everyone who participated learned something from everyone else," Brown said.

10.10.10 CEO and creator Tom Higley said the program served as much to change the lives of the 10 CEOs involved as it did to work on the solutions of the wicked problems.

Many were successful entrepreneurs searching for their next business opportunity, and 10.10.10 allowed them to look toward the future and consider new opportunities, Higley said.

No concrete business proposals were offered on day 10 of the project, but the CEOs are expected to spend the next nine months further considering the problems and business solutions.

"I think that many people supposed the CEOs would be setting up and presenting their solutions to the wicked problems, and we never had that in mind," Higley said. "There problems that they're dealing with are much too large. These wicked problems in health will require a great deal of thought, an army to explore avenues to solutions."

To reach Teresa Ristow, call 970-871-4206, email tristow@SteamboatToday.com or follow her on Twitter @TeresaRistow